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How to see Add/Remove Programs before bootup.

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi All,
I have a Windows XP machine that is in a vicious reboot cycle.  I believe this is due to a virus or possible failing hard drive.

Let's assume it's a virus.  Does anyone know a program/utility/feature that will allow me to see what programs are installed on the computer before I format it?  Even a simple Add/Remove Programs Display will be fine, it just has to be in a boot utility because I cannot get to the desktop at all.  One of my coworkers has a "Boot CD" and it has a ton of utilities on it, but I don't know what each and every one of them does.

Any thoughts?

Boot CD edited - see admin post - MASQ

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Question by:ccorino1
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Expert Comment

by:crisco96
ID: 36490220
Did you try booting into safe mode to see if it worked? Hit F8 right after the BIOS boot screen (there should be a little blinking cursor).

Also you might want to try taking out the hard drive and plugging it into another computer and scan it that way.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 36490232
Booting into Safemode should disable most viruses. You can look in the program list and try uninstalling the offending app if you see it.

After you stop the rebooting, I'd run a full scan with these utulities in regular mode:

TDSKiller
Superantispyware
Malwarebytes
If necessary, go to bleeping computer.com, download and run ComboFix, but it should be run in regular mode..


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Author Comment

by:ccorino1
ID: 36490241
Thanks crisco and TG, but booting into Safe Mode does not work either.
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by:crisco96
ID: 36490251
Can you try scanning the hard drive from another computer?
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36490395
F8 while booting, and select "Disable automatic restart on system failure"....

Post the BCCode please.....
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Author Comment

by:ccorino1
ID: 36490501
johnb6767 - I receive the blue screen of death with the stop error 0x0000007E and it also says "kdcom.dll - Address F789815e BASE AT f7897000, Datestampe 4E553A48.

I think Windows is severely corrupt.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 36490555
If the system is that bad, you are probably better off with a fresh install.

I suggest these methods of backing up your data:

1. Trying to stablize the system and then baclup your documents
2. Boot with a utility like Partition Manager from Paragon (or simular app) that allows you to copy for important files to an external USB drive.
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Expert Comment

by:OliverLo
ID: 36490617
Hi Ccorino1,

Since your computer was in a reboot loop it must have a last known good configuration saved.
DId you just try to use the Last Known Good configuration from F8 to check if the system is able to boot properly?
DId you install anything on your computer since the last successful boot?

Thanks,
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 36491212
Sounds like you have a Master Boot Record Rootkit from the TDSS family of malware.  Try this:

Boot into the "Recovery Console" from a Windows XP installation CD and issue the following commands:
FIXMBR (fixes the Master Boot Record - MBR)
FIXBOOT (fixes the Volume Boot Record)

http://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/fix-mbr-xp-vista/
http://cleanbytes.net/the-new-boot-record-viruses-tdl4-how-to-fix-the-master-boot-record-mbr
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Accepted Solution

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ccorino1 earned 0 total points
ID: 36495852
The solution was exactly what MASQUERAID suggested.  For anyone looking for the solution, here are the steps:
Boot off UBCD
Use one of the Registry tools to load up the registry (If prompted to point to the location of the registry, use C:\Windows\System32\Config.  That is where the SAM is, along with other components)
Navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

In there will give you the list of what is in Add/Remove Programs.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ccorino1
ID: 36521356
This is the solution for anyone else on EE looking for the same thing.
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